Instructor autonomy and identity: Navigating teaching & learning software adoption in third level business education

Sean Tanner*, Conor Drummond, Dave Alton, Kristina Auxtova, James Duggan, Grace O'Rourke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Purpose: This is an exploratory study which aims to uncover the unforeseen consequences of technology adoption on instructor decision making, identity, and the impact of technology enabled learning (TEL) on psychological distance between instructors, students and higherlevel institutes. The research addresses calls to reflect on lessons learned from HEI instructors’ switch to online learning during Covid-19 which accelerated the adoption of teaching and learning technologies.
Study Design: A qualitative design is employed using semi-structured interviews. An initial pilot study is conducted comprising a total of 13 participants sampled from RoI and UK HEIs. Data analysis is conducted using thematic analysis and iterative peer debriefing.
Findings: This study provides valuable insights into the impact of institutional and IT infrastructural factors in facilitating instructor control in pedagogical decision making and software acceptance. Data suggest evidence of both increased psychological distance between educators and learners and identifies strategies employed by instructors to reduce perceived psychological distance between various stakeholders. The data provides insights into the relationship between TEL and instructor identity development. Research Limitations and Implications:
Research is conducted subsequent to software adoption. Future contemporaneous data collection would support understanding of emerging adoption considerations.
Practical and Social implications: Findings highlight the importance of both institutional and social factors in adoption of technology change. The research provides useful insights to guide future change, particularly in relation to digitally inclusive TEL.
Originality/Value: Adopting a multi-institutional approach this research seeks to complement a burgeoning body of post-Covid pedagogical research by addressing the under-researched area of instructor perceptions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventIrish Academy of Management Conference 2022 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 24 Aug 202225 Aug 2022


ConferenceIrish Academy of Management Conference 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • technology-enabled learning
  • autonomy
  • psychological distance
  • higher education


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